The Northwest District’s Oscar Butler Scholarship Fund has been providing financial support for student pastors in the Florence area for more than 50 years.
Many young pastors leave seminary with a large debt because of the cost of theological education. This debt puts a financial burden on the pastors and her or his family as they enter the ministry. The Florence District Laity Club recognized this issue many years ago and began to help young pastors with their educational costs.
Over the years, more than 300 scholarships totaling more than one-third of a million dollars have been awarded to help further the education of future pastors.
Today, the Northwest District/Shoals Area Laity Club Oscar Butler Scholarship Fund aims to “support the student pastors who are working toward their divinity degrees so that they are not faced with a mountain of debt upon graduating and entering the ministry.” Scholarship funds are given to student-pastors assigned to the Northwest District of the United Methodist North Alabama Conference.
This year they have created a video which tells the story of how this Scholarship Fund has helped one student pastor and his family.